Light #TaleWeaver

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Mum died when I was a baby and every since then I’ve seen the light orbs. No one told me they were ghosts, it was just something I’ve always known. I didn’t really speak about them because it was so normal I thought everyone could see the orbs.

They were white and yellow in colour but sometimes I saw lights in blue or green. They came in different sizes; from pin points, to coin size to the biggest being like plates. The lights drifted around everything wherever I went. Sometimes they would vanish then return so it was hard to tell how many where around me at once. I had no real feelings about them, just that sometimes I felt loved and safe.

I learned in high school though that I was the only one to see the ghosts. I told maybe three or four friends one morning and by the end of the day the whole school knew. I become known as a weirdo and had to hang around with the other rejected teens. They though didn’t seemed to mind my ‘gift.’

‘Can you talk to the ghost lights?’

‘No. I just see them all the time.’

‘Doesn’t that get distracting?’

‘How bright are they?’

‘Not that bright during the day at night they can get like a light bulb. I’m use to them so they don’t really distract me.’

‘What if they aren’t ghosts?’

‘What if it’s like something to do with your vision?’

‘Yeah, my brother is colourblind, maybe it’s something like that?’

‘I don’t know….The lights are always moving around, they don’t effect the way I see.’

Despite all the suggests, I know they were ghosts, though I wasn’t sure how I know. It just was. Then, I decided I didn’t want to answer the questions anymore for what further more could it prove? So what if only I could see the lights? I didn’t need anyone else to believe in them to make them any more real to me.

I just got on with life as normal then. I did my exams, I went to college, had my first love and heartbreak then went to university. I found a part-time job in a small bookshop. I was happy and still surrounded by the lights. I never told anyone again about the ghost lights until the man who would become my husband.

It would have been easy enough not to tell him of course but why should I hide from someone who truly loved me? So, soon after he had proposed to me whilst we were laying in the heat of a summer night unable to sleep, I turned to him and said, ‘I have to tell you something…secret about me.’

‘That you are the most wonderful thing in the world?’ he answered.

‘No,’ I answered and snuggled closer to him, ‘there are these lights and they are ghosts and I can see them. I’ve always been able too. They don’t speak to me and they’ve never done me any harm. They are just there and I think they are watching over me and protecting me. I think my mum caused it when she died. Perhaps, she’s one of them or all of them. I don’t know.’

He was silent for awhile and I thought at first he was thinking of how to call everything off or else, as my heart beat so loudly, had fallen asleep suddenly and missed what I’d said?

‘Are they here now?’ he asked in whisper.

‘Yes. I see them all the time.’

He hummed as if he was trying to think of what to say.

I didn’t want to hear what was coming so tried to move off the bed. His grip tightened on me though, making me pause. He drew me into a hug and held me tightly, breathing into my hair.

‘I knew you were special from the moment I saw you,’ he muttered.

‘So, you don’t mind the lights?’ I asked into his chest.

‘No. Because I can see them too,’ he replied.

 

(Inspired by; https://mindlovemiserysmenagerie.wordpress.com/2018/05/17/tale-weaver-171-may-17th-light/ with thanks).

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First Sunrise #TwittingTales

I embraced the dark, cold theater. Feeling secure despite many people nearby. Tampering down excitement, the pictures came to life, real but yet not real; moving and talking in full colour. Then, I saw the sun rise in all her glory for the first time in a hundred and twenty years.

(Inspired by https://katmyrman.com/2018/05/15/twittering-tales-84-15-may-2018 with thanks).

Not There #writephoto

There was someone on the stairs. I pointed at the strange dark shape and said one of the few words I could, ‘ogog!’ Look!

Nanny didn’t pause but carried on taking me upstairs in her arms.

I pointed again, waving my hand more and wiggling against her. I had a bad feeling about the dark figure that was coming out before us. I cried  and tried saying whatever I could but Nanny hushed me and held my waving hand.

We passed the ‘shadow man’ and I felt a cold wave like a winter wind brushing against me. I think I saw a smile on the face, but it was hard to make out. Then the coldness and the man was gone. I twisted and looked over Nanny’s shoulder but there was nothing on the stairs.

And that was how it all began.

It was strange for a child to avoid their nursery but I always tried too. I hated going up the stone staircase to the attic at the top where my toys were because I knew on the tenth step lived the shadow man. It always felt icy cold on that step, day or night, summer or winter.

Nobody believed me about him. Nanny said it was my imagination. My maid, Martha, told me it was just shadows. The housekeeper, Mrs Williams, claimed it was a drift coming from the window. My father declared it was a trick of the light. My mother scoffed then ignored me again as she always did.

So, I stopped talking about him and tried to ignore him too. It was hard because he always seemed to be there. I would have to climb the staircase at some point during each day; after lunch or after my lessons or when my mother had a party and she didn’t want me to be seen.

Pausing at the bottom, I gather the long puffy skirt of my dress and the white underskirt up to reveal the matching colour satin or silk slippers before climbing. Sometimes someone else would be with me; Nanny, Martha or Mrs Williams but as I got older they would send me alone.

On the ninth step, I would stop and look at the tenth. There was nothing making it different from all the other twenty-one steps but in the shadows next to the banister a darker shape lingered there. If I stayed long enough, I’d be able to make out the figure of a man. He was taller then father, dressed in a suit and had long hair tied back with a ribbon. His other features were harder to make out; his face was blurred by black mist but he had eyes, a nose and a mouth that always smiled at me.

I plunged through the coldness, holding my breath then raced up the rest of the stairs. At the top, I would peer down but there was never anything there. I would go into the nursery, close the door and try to play with my dolls, rocking horse, tea-set and jigsaw puzzles. When I grew bored or tried, I would climb into the window box and read one of my many books. Until Nanny or Martha would come up to either lit the lamps or take me to bed.

He would be there, awaiting on the tenth step. Stronger outlined in the night but still blurred and blending with the shadows. He would watch me and smile. I tried not to look but I knew what he was doing all the same. He never did anything else but I think that’s what made me most afraid of him. I hoped he was just stuck there with no power, but who was to really know?

Long after I left my parents house, got married, moved into a new house and had children of my own, the shadow man still haunted me. Who was he? What did he want? When I could not sleep or was bored, I would try to find out but I never got any answers.

Then one day my daughter pointed something out on the stairs leading to the nursery. I looked and saw the shadow man standing on the tenth step, awaiting us.

 

(Inspired by; https://scvincent.com/2018/05/03/thursday-photo-prompt-ascent-writephoto with thanks).

Mangata #atozchallenge (Part 2)

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Mangata; the trail of light left by the moon’s reflection on the sea, ‘the moon road’. 

Someone was calling my name in the distance, I could hear them over the sounds of the waves and the rocking of the little boat.

‘Susy! Susy!’

I opened my eyes and stretched, my body stiff from leaning over. Looking around in a daze, I realised I’d fallen asleep! Luckily though the sea had carried me ashore and the little boat was wedged on the beach. Checking my watch, I saw it was now close to two in the morning.

‘Susy!’ a voice yelled.

It was my older sister, Aura! I looked madly about and thought I saw a blob of flickering light, coming over to me. I looked at the electrical lantern balanced at the head of the boat. It was letting off a good amount of light still. I picked it up and climbed out of the boat.

‘Over here, Aura!’ I yelled and waved the lantern.

‘Susy! she shouted back, ‘are you okay?’

‘Yes,’ I hollered.

I ran along the shore to met her. The surf splashed up against my boat and the wet sand slide underneath me. We almost collided as we were both closer then we thought. Laughing, Aura hugged me tightly, her lantern hitting my back, her wild blonde hair tickling my face.

‘We were worried!’ she gushed, ‘We thought you’d got lost! Father and mother have gone to the cove and to the rocky pools. They thought the tide might have carried you there.’

‘No,’ I replied, I was close enough to shore. I didn’t realise the time.’

Aura let me go and we walked over to the boat.

‘Did you get it?’ she asked, excitement bubbling in her voice.

I nodded and answered, ‘yes and some more things too.’

We hurried over and I grabbed the hiking bag to show her.

Aura grabbed my hand before I could start pulling things out, ‘wait,’ she said.

I looked at her, her face glowing in the lantern lit.

‘We should find father and mother, they are so worried.’

‘Fine,’ I said and flipped the hiking bag closed again.

I heaved it onto my back then we both pulled the boat up the beach. As we neared the low stone wall, two moving lights appeared and we heard running footsteps. Aura, held out her hand and we both stopped. Ducking into the shadows of the wall, we hide our lanterns behind us and waited to see who was coming.

Heavy feet hit the sand, followed by softer ones and the swishing of cloaks. I saw in the gloom, two lanterns holding magical balls of blue and green dancing lights. So, it could only be…

‘Mother! Father!’ Aura cried and she rushed over to them, ‘I found her! Susy! She’s fine!’

I stepped from the wall’s shelter and hurried over. My mother hugged me, repeatedly saying my name, asking if I was okay and that I had worried them all.

‘What happened?’ my father finally cut in.

‘Nothing…I…It was just so nice out there and I caught some stars too. I didn’t know the time had gone,’ I replied.

I couldn’t tell them I had fallen asleep, it’d be awhile before they let me out again by myself.

‘I got The Moon Reflection Essence!’ I cried and struggled to take my hiking bag off to show them all.

My mother stopped me, her hands pulling the straps back on, ‘later,’ she said.

Father collected the boat, heaving it up and and carrying it back. We walked off the beach, breaking the quietness with a little conversation. A sandy path let back to the village. Ours was the first house on the little cliff that looked out over the sea. As we got closer, I saw that all the windows had lights shinning out of them, so it seemed like a beacon. There was a tail of smoke coming out of the small chimney too.

Arriving, we took our boots off then Mother hurried me into the living room, where the fire dully burnt. She threw some more logs on then began helping me out of my damp clothes. In the background, I heard father lowering the boat against the house and coming in with my sister. They joined us and started to get dry too.

Standing in my under dress, I emptied my hiking bag and removed all the jars. Mother inspected them as I did so, nodding and muttering her approval. Lastly, I handed in the biggest jar and watched her face closely.

The Moon Reflection Essence glowed brightly in the living room, casting a pool of light around mother. Her smile grew as she turned the jar to see the light from the reflection of the moon from all sides.

‘It’s perfect,’ she said, proudly.

‘At a girl, Susy,’ father spoke.

‘Wow, it’s so bright!’ Aura awed.

‘Well done,’ mother added and drew me into a hug.

A wave of sleep hit me and I rubbed my eyes as I rested against her shoulder. The warm of the fire, the safety of home and the tiredness of my trip building together.

‘It’s bedtime.’

I agreed with a yawn.

Once in bed, I could see the moonlight dancing on top of the waves before me. I could feel myself drifting away, those waves carrying me out to sea.

‘You’re going to make a great witch, Susy,’ Aura’s voice said.

‘Huh-huh,’ I uttered.

‘We both will do…One day. Next time will you show me how you get the moon essence?’

‘Sure,’ I muttered then let the dream sea carry me away.

Mangata #atozchallenge (Part 1)

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Mangata; the trail of light left by the moon’s reflection on the sea, ‘the moon road’. 

I sat still in the small rowing boat, the sea waves gently bobbing around me. In the distance, I could hear more waves lazily brushing along the shoreline but there were no other sounds. The full moon rose high in an ink black sky, a billion stars surrounding her like people bowing to a Queen.

Looking at my luminous watch, the hands told me it was almost midnight. My breath caught in my throat and I reached for the largest of jars I had brought with me. The oars brushed against my legs as I moved, transferring some of their cold, wetness to my over the knee black socks. They were already damp with the spray off the wave tops.

Careful not to rock the boat, I unlocked the lid and popped it open. Then I looked down into the dark sea. A white shinning line lay across the water, the reflection of the moon, gently moving up and down as it rode along the wave tops. I lowered the large jar, feeling my hands and arms shake slightly under the weight.

Calm, calm! I told myself. My tongue stuck out and pressed to the corner of my mouth as I concentrated. The jar lip tickled the white shinny line. I held still as a statue, holding my breath and not blinking. I heard my heartbeat echoing then I lowered the jar an inch more, breaking the line.

The moon’s reflection trickled into the jar. I held on tightly, the extra weight making my arms ache. The jar began to glow a dim white light. I cast a glance up at the moon, it was hard to till if it looked dimmer or not. Fixing my eyes back on the jar, I waited painstakingly for it to fill. The sea licked at my hands like a happy puppy, making my skin wet and cold. My fingers started to slip on the jar, I clutched it tighter as if my life depended on it.

It had taken all year to reach this point. The conditions for collecting The Moon Reflection Essence had to be just right! The sea had to be almost flat, clear and still whilst the sky had to be empty of clouds, the moon full, the stars bright. The day before had to have been clear and sunny too, so that the maximum of sunlight could be reflected upon the moon. Also, it had to be at midnight, when everything was at it’s highest and the most magically hour had started.

Finally, the line of moonlight in the jar and sea met and I eased the jar back up. Struggling, I grunted and almost dropped it but then I heaved the jar over the side of the boat. I almost fell but recovered fast, the boat rocked wildly then stilled again. I shoved the jar between my knees and jammed the lid on. Then locked the clip, sealing The Moon Reflection Essence inside.

Breathing deeply, I looked up at the moon then at the line of shinny light upon the sea. The moon and line looked dimmer now. Breathing deeply, I wrapped a red velvet cloth around the jar and placed it carefully into my hiking bag, which I had placed a cushion at the bottom and put in a thick blanket. Every precaution was needed right now.

I dried my hands on the edge of my black cloak then reached for an empty smaller jar. Might as well make the most of this trip. I opened the smaller jar and looked down into the sea again. I waited in between the low waves, fixing my eyes on a pinprick of white then dipped the jar in.

The wave bobbed the boat, had I missed? I closed the lid as I withdrew the jar and brought it up to my face. Inside I saw a tiny dot of light; Star Reflection Essence. Smiling, I looked for another one and got ready to try and collected it. I lowered the jar once more, waited then dipped and raised the jar up again. A second white dot had joined the first.

Feeling more relaxed, I collected a few more stars; ten in total before closing that jar. I checked my watch and saw it was half past midnight. It was almost time to leave. Making sure the Star Reflection Essence jar was secure in my hiking bag, I put on top the others I had already filled with different things. Lastly, went the three jars I had not filled. They were spares, as it was always important to be over prepared.

I took a few sips of water from my bottle then tucked that into a side pocked of the hiking bag. I slide down side ways on the boat’s little bench, rested my arms gently on the boat’s side then placed my head on top. I sighed with tiredness and watched the sea gently bouncing the reflection of the moon and stars slowly. A yaw escaped me and lulled by the bobbing boat and quiet echos of the waves, I felt sleep at the edge of my eyes and mind.

To Be Continued…

 

Hopeful Rest (Part 2)

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I came back around to the start of the graveyard and looked out once again. I could see the tracks I’d made in the long grass. My brain puzzled over that same last line and I tried to shrug it off as nothing but there was something here! There had to be a reason why it said ‘we hope they have gone to rest’ on all the headstones.

A rumble of thunder sounded over head, blocking out the music from my headphones for a few seconds. I looked up at the sky and saw it darkening with thick clouds. Time to go home. Going back the way I’d come, I put the route into my mind map. Rain began to fall and I pulled up my hood and hurried on.

Luckily, the storm held off until I had reached a place to shelter. I’m not a fan of rain or storms. I entered the little cafe and sat down at an empty table. It was busy as it seemed other walkers had been caught out by the rain too and huddled inside. I looked over to the small pocket like window and saw a flash of lightening.

I got a cup of tea and a slice of cake. My mind worrying that they might ask me to leave if I didn’t order something. I moved tables to this little one in in a back corner which had a huge bookcase towering over it. I watched other people looking out of the windows and heard them commenting on the sudden storm. The thunder was super loud and I’d kept my music on but I could hear the rumbles over the techno beats.

Forty minutes later and the storm still hadn’t stopped. The rain was now lashing at the windows and the wind threatening to blow the place down. I sighed and hating myself, I call my mum to pick me up and drive me home. At least, I got home safe and dry and had a chance to ask her about the graveyard.

‘I think once there’d been a village there,’ she replied, ‘but I don’t really remember. Gran would know.’

The storm raged most of the night. Highly unusual for England. I slept on and off, my thoughts drifting back to the gravestone and that inscription. Finally at around midnight, I got up and turned on my computer. With just the noise of the storm and the PC fans in the background, I researched the place.

There was little to be found. There had been a village, built for the servants and their families who worked in a manor house close by in the mid 1800’s but it had been bombed in World War 2 by a lost German plane.

Disappointed, I went back to bed and next morning got up and went to see my gran. She lived a few doors down from us. She had been born in this town and never left. If anyone knew about the graveyard and lost village it would be her.

I used my key to her house and let myself in, calling out to her as I opened the door. The smell that hit me was a strong reminder of childhood; mints, faded tobacco smoke, dying flowers, coal fire and old things. I walked into the living room and found her there, in her favorite arm chair, watching TV.

‘Hello, gran,’ I said and hugged her.

She patted my arm, ‘hello, Neil. It’s so nice to see you. Cup of tea?’

‘Sure.’

I helped her up and give her my arm as we walked into the kitchen. Once the tea was made and the biscuits gotten out, we went back into the living room and I started with my questions.

‘I found an old graveyard yesterday, out in the moors and all the headstones had the same last line on them; We hope they have gone to rest. Mum said there was once a village up there. Do you remember it?’

Gran thought for a good few minutes before replying, ‘yes. I never want there. Only heard about it.’

‘It got blown up in the war,’ I added.

‘Yes. That’s what all the stories said but we always thought differently.’

I paused and waited for her to go on.

‘There was some kind of disease, more like a plague, that everyone in the village had. No one knows where it came from. Some say the manor family had it and passed it on to the servants, who then passed it on to their families. Or perhaps, one of the servant’s families had it. It was called The Restless Plague.’

‘The internet said nothing about that,’ I said aloud.

‘No one said anything about it,’ Gran cut in, ‘we were not allowed too, but everyone knew not to go to the village or the manor house.’

‘So everyone died of this plague?’ I asked thoughtfully.

‘That was always the story. You see, it wasn’t a normal plague. Once a person had it they carried on living but they were different. They weren’t all together there,’ she said with a tap to her head, ‘when they weren’t working or sleeping, they would wander around a lot.’

I frowned, not fully understanding. I had another biscuit and a few more sips of hot tea.

‘I saw some of ’em a few times. They’d just be standing, staring at nothing or shuffling along not going anywhere. Everyone was told to keep away, lest you caught the plague too. I saw this one man, once, dressed up like a farmer and he was just moaning at a tree. Another time, there was this child screaming and screaming, until she was carted away,’ Gran said with a shake of her head.

I couldn’t think of any straight questions to ask, my brain was trying to process all of this.

‘Thank goodness they’ve all gone now,’ Gran spoke out, ‘more tea, pet?’

‘No, thanks. What about the headstones, gran?’

‘They all had to be buried in another place. No one wanted them at our church.’

‘And those words? We hope they have gone to rest?’ I pressed.

‘They had no rest in life so maybe they’d find it in death? Who knows…..I’ve some angel cake left,’ gran said getting up,’ You want some? You love angel cake, just like your mum.’

She hobbled to the door then paused and said, ‘there’s a good boy. No more talk about this now.’

I nodded and sipped more tea. My brain felt better that the puzzle had now been solved. I part of me was eager to find out more but what else was there to say?

Hopeful Rest (Part 1)

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Some days, I just mindless walk whilst listening to music. It’s a habit that comes from when I was a teenager and just had to get away from my family. I was so anger and upset all the time back then and I couldn’t talk properly to anyone about it because I didn’t know how to. Being autistic didn’t help either.

It still doesn’t, but at least things have become a little easier. I like my job as an IT assistant at a large office. People come to me with their PC problems and I fix it. Though the world still has a habit of getting on top of me.

I was wandering to cool off after a bad day at work, listening to classic Linkin Park albums on my phone when I came across the old stone gate and fence. I stopped and checked for any signs telling me not to trespass etc, it’s important to pay attention to those things. There didn’t seem to be any and now I had stopped, I realised I wasn’t sure where I was.

Around me, thick trees and bushes blocked out most of the light. The path I was on was overgrown and it seemed nothing had been here recently. I was far from any road or house, in the middle of the moors. There had been something man-made here once and nature had claimed it back.

Getting lost had never scared me, my autistic brain didn’t really understand emotions or feelings. I get them sure, but not on the same level as everyone else. Also, if you wanted to be away from people you had to get lost sometimes.

I went through the gap were a wooden gate once had been and found myself on a fading path heading upwards. There were piles of stones dotted around, all of which had fallen off the wall. Past the trees lay an open, tangled snarl of a clearing and popping up from the super long grass and trails of ivy were headstones.

Counting them slowly, I came to about thirty in total, though there was probably more hidden in the grass. So, a graveyard then. I couldn’t see a church poking above the treeline, maybe if there’d been one it was long since gone. I didn’t give much other thought to the hows and the whys. I liked burial places, they were often quiet and didn’t have that many living people about.

I walked to the first row of headstones and tried to read them. Weather, age and moss made it difficult. I traced some letters and numbers with my fingers and got a few of them. I tried to clear the stone, interested to see the date on it. 1879 seemed to be it. The last line on the stone was clear to read, as if someone had gone to great lengths to make it stand out; We hope they have gone to rest.

I moved on to the next which like the first was a plain arched shape. The inscription once again was faded but at the end were those same words again. I went down the row, looking at each headstone carefully, but they were all too hard to read expect for that repeating last line.

There was an odd sound to those words my brain realised. I had seen many epitaphs but that was just different. Who was ‘we’ ? The family? and why ‘hope’ for something that was true? I don’t really get why people do things sometimes.

I walked around the other gravestones. Some of them were clearer then others and I got the sense this resting place was for members of a small village that might now be lost to history. The earliest date I found was mid 1800’s and the most recent 1930’s close to the start of the Second World War. On all of them though were the same last words; We hope they have gone to rest.

To Be Continued…

Chop #FridayFictioneers

As evening arrived, the sound of an axe chopping wood could be heard. The echoing noise carried throughout the night and only fade as first light touched the trees. For months, the chop chop sounds continued and no one could find the source.

In whispers, the rumors started about a woodsman who murdered his family then himself. As punishment the Devil had him cutting down trees to make firewood for Hell.

It’s now said, that if you walk into that forest you would see the remains of the trees the woodsman’s ghost has cut down.

 

(Inspired from; https://rochellewisoff.com/2018/01/31/2-february-2018/ with thanks).

Super Blue Blood Moon

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The full moon rose above the Earth, twice the size it normally was and red sand coloured. Humans watched in wonder but I stared in horror. The prophesy the warlock hundred and fifty years ago had uttered with his dying breath was coming true!

I glanced at the gold, designer watch on my left wrist, the thin hands were almost at two AM. A long wolf howl rose from the almost silent night. I gripped the balcony railing and lend out. Below me stretched the ever green pine forest, lit by the glow of the super moon. Another howl from a different direction sounded and even though I couldn’t seen them, I knew the werewolf pack were gathering.

I stepped back into my manor house, closing and locking the balcony doors as if they alone could keep out the cursed prophesy. I went to my vast library, where an unseen servant had light the fire and the gas lamps I still loved so much. Pacing, I tried to think of anything that I could change to stop the full force of what was about to happen.

From one of the hidden drawers in my Victorian writing desk, I pulled out a small leather bound and yellow page book. I had to turn the electrical light on to read my tiny feather quill handwriting. The prophesy was written in full;

On the night when the full moon appears twice in the same month and is monstrous in size and blood red in colour, shall all the evil arise. The world will be consumed, mankind will be over thrown and a new age will begin. Darkness will rule over everything and there’ll be no stopping it. 

I closed the book and pressed it between both my palms. The words; no stopping the evil, spun in my head. I couldn’t sit back and watch this happen! It was partly my fault… I sat down heavily on the leather padded chair and slipped the book away. It’s dark secrets would be safely locked again but my own secrets would be harder to put away.

Leaving the comfort of the library, I thought through all the possibilities as I went to the front door. There was only one way to stop the prophesy and that was to gather all the good forces together to fight this evil. Snagging my cloak and whipping it around me, I stepped into the night and became nothing more then a shadow across the lawn.

Proof Of Heaven

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I don’t know what started it. A feeling or thought, maybe? Then the dreams came followed by the visions and I knew it was real. The angels arrived next, blazing light and whispering. Why had I been chosen? I didn’t know but I knew I had to spread the messages.

(Inspired by; https://katmyrman.com/2018/01/30/twittering-tale-69-30-january-2018/ with thanks).